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Dragonclaw by Kate Forsyth
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This never really grabbed me. It wasn't so much that it was bad, the writing was fine and the world was setting up nicely. It just never grabbed me and there were other books calling me a lot harder while I was reading this. I've got a fairly firm "life's too short to read books you don't love" stance so this one got put aside. I'd still say it's worth a read if you want a female-centric high fantasy series. It had a lot of promise, but a third of the way in I decided it wasn't my thing. ( )
  heaven_star | Oct 20, 2014 |
This never really grabbed me. It wasn't so much that it was bad, the writing was fine and the world was setting up nicely. It just never grabbed me and there were other books calling me a lot harder while I was reading this. I've got a fairly firm "life's too short to read books you don't love" stance so this one got put aside. I'd still say it's worth a read if you want a female-centric high fantasy series. It had a lot of promise, but a third of the way in I decided it wasn't my thing. ( )
  heaven_star | Oct 20, 2014 |
This never really grabbed me. It wasn't so much that it was bad, the writing was fine and the world was setting up nicely. It just never grabbed me and there were other books calling me a lot harder while I was reading this. I've got a fairly firm "life's too short to read books you don't love" stance so this one got put aside. I'd still say it's worth a read if you want a female-centric high fantasy series. It had a lot of promise, but a third of the way in I decided it wasn't my thing. ( )
  heaven_star | Oct 20, 2014 |
This was actually my third time reading this. I read it once years ago when I first bought it randomly. I always meant to read the rest of the series but never picked it up. Then about two years ago I read it again this time intending to read the rest of the series and even collected the rest of the books in anticipation (thank you paperbackswap.com).

Now two years later I have resolved myself to finish the series.

I've enjoyed this book with each reading. The world is interesting and the characters engaging. My one main quibble is I want a damn map. It is difficult to figure out where everyone is without one. ( )
  renrav | Sep 22, 2013 |
I received my signed copy of Dragonclaw: Book One of the Witches of Eileanan in a competition being run on author Kate Forsyth's website earlier this year.

I absolutely adored her novel Bitter Greens and thoroughly enjoyed The Wild Girl, and so came to Dragonclaw (the author's first published novel) with high expectations.

I knew before turning the first page that Dragonclaw is a YA fantasy novel, however in the very beginning when two witches are discussing the events of the land in front of an open fire, I found I had no idea what they were talking about and even wondered if I'd missed a book. I felt lost until I realised that the main character is feeling the same way, and the reader isn't supposed to have knowledge of the events being discussed. It was after this scene that I was able to let myself fall completely into the story.

Dragonclaw is a rich tale full of witches, magic and dragons, and it isn't long before our protagonists are on a significant quest. There is much backstory to learn and Kate does a great job of drip feeding it into the plot although I was hungry for more. It was clear midway through the book that their quest would take them beyond book one of this series in much the same way that readers of Eragon realise they're settling in for a great journey a few hundred pages in.

My favourite part of the book were the few scenes with the dragons; I found their characteristics and view of human life fascinating and I hope they appear again later in the series. In summary, I recommend Dragonclaw to readers who enjoy fantasy novels and quest-driven plots where good and evil must battle for control of the realm. ( )
1 vote Carpe_Librum | Jul 12, 2013 |
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Isabeau swung her pack over her shoulder and strode down the track, her eyes roaming over the ground as she searched for the first unfurling of leaf and flower through the muddy snow.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Originally published as Dragonclaw in Australia. Later published in US etc, as The Witches of Eileanan.
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'Twas a Time When Dragons Left Their Lair and Evil Shadowed the Land....

On the Day of Reckoning, the witches of Eileanan were outlawed -- and violations of the new order were punishable by death. Eileanan''s Great Towers, once meddas of magic and learning, were left in ruins. And now, the entire land trembles in fear....

Yet deep in the mountains, in the shadow of Dragonclaw, a young girl is being tutored in the old ways. Ignorant of her past, uncertain of her future, the foundling Isabeau will soon be forced down a dangerous path of prophesy, conspiracy, and magic. It is a world where dragons possess the he key to ancient mysteries...where a lost prince will discover a strange and wondrous destiny...and where the ultimate battle between good and evil will be waged....

A new Day of Reckoning is at hand....

[from the back cover]
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A tale of dark mysteries, dire enchantments and dangerous quests, Dragonclaw is the first in a gripping fantasy series, The Witches of Eileanan.

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